A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R.L. Stine after the writer's imaginary demons are set free on the town of Madison, Delaware.
ActorsStarring: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan, Jillian Bell, Ryan Lee, Ken Marino, Halston Sage, Ella Wahlestedt, Kumail Nanjiani, Timothy Simons, Amanda Lund, Steven Krueger, Karan Soni, E. Roger Mitchell, Kevin Galbraith, Keith Arthur Bolden, Benjamin Papac, R.L. Stine, Nate Andrade, John Bernecker, Sheldon Brown, Melissa Brewer, Marshall Choka, Melissa Cowan, John Deifer, Everett Dixon, Brian Gabriel, Maryann Gorka, Clare Halstead, Devin Hampton, Rory Healy, Drew Lamkins, Vivian Kyle, Katie Lumpkin, Charlie Leach, Larry Mainland, Lucky Mangione, Justin Natic, Josh Phillips, Mickie Pollock, Steve Quinn, Ashley Jo Sizemore, Jeff Tenney, Jennifer Trudrung, Ashton Lee Wolden, Coleman Youmans
R.L. Stine has been an extremely productive kids’ horror writer – over his lifetime he has so far written hundreds of books and short stories, earning him the nickname of ‘Stephen King of children’s literature’. To call his writing ‘literature’ may be somehat generous, but his books have sold over 400 million copies, so he is certainly a popular novelist.
This movie takes one of his book series (there are currently 182 Goosebumps books) and makes a merry mash-up of it all. Jack Black plays RL Stine as a recluse, living in a small town in Delaware. When new neighbours move in, teenage Zach (Dylan Minette) can’t help himself and finds himself sneaking into Stine’s house one night. When he accidentally drops one of Stine’s Goosebump manuscripts on the floor, it unleashes the monster inside…
There are elements reminiscent of classic kids’ movies like Jumanji, The Neverending Story and Gremlins amongst others, but Goosebumps is no competition for these unfortunately. The story is just a bit too shallow, even though there are certainly various elements that if pursued a bit more, combined with a somewhat less frantic pacing, could have given the movie that extra layer of interest. That is not to say the movie isn’t any good – it is a fun watch for younger kids who’ll enjoy the monster-fest the movie turns into, with enough family-friendly scares, humour and even a bit of heart to keep everyone entertained.
Not in any way recommended for adults, but a fun flick to watch with the kids (aged ~8-13).